Yesterday (May 25, 2022), The Supreme Court of Texas issued the 51st Emergency Order Regarding the COVID-19 State of Disaster. The 51st Order renews the 49th Order with some amendments.
Of note, all courts in Texas may, without a participant’s consent allow or require anyone involved in any hearing or other proceeding of any kind to participate remotely such as by teleconferencing, videoconferencing or other means. Courts may continue to use reasonable efforts to conduct proceedings remotely. While criminal cases where confinement in jail or prison is a possible punishment, remote jury proceedings may not proceed over the objection of the defendant or the prosecutor. In all other cases (including municipal and justice court proceedings), remote jury proceedings cannot be held unless the court has considered on the record or in a written order any objection or motion related to moving forward with the jury proceeding at least seven days before the proceeding as soon as practicable if the objection is made within seven days of the proceeding.
Presiding judges continue to be encouraged to adopt minimum standard health protocols for court participants and the public and have the authority to mandate compliance with the protocols.
This order is effective June 1, 2022 and expires August 1, 2022, unless extended.
You can access the order here and a copy is inserted below.